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BizReport : : November 13, 2012

Online delivery evolves with secure pick-up lockers

Fear of theft, damage to packages and missing a delivery are all major concerns for online shoppers, but new delivery methods are coming in to play that can help alleviate these fears and provide a more convenient method of receiving items bought on the Internet.

by Helen Leggatt

While online and mobile commerce evolves, delivery methods haven't been as quick, or easy, to update to cater for the needs of consumers.

But, new methods are coming online that allow consumers to direct shipments to a secure pick-up location in a local store, instead of having items delivered to a home address. Shoppers can then pick up their purchases at their convenience.

ShopRunner, a company that has launched such a pick-up program, conducted an online survey with Harris Interactive and found the vast majority of Americans (75%) have concerns about online delivery to their home address.

Over half (52%) fretted about theft, 45% worried they would not be home to accept the delivery and 43% had concerns packages would be damaged by inclement weather. The knock-on effect for retailers is that online shoppers limit the value of their orders, which ShopRunner found to be $200.

But, what if they had a safe place to redirect their purchases to? Of the 84% that stated they did not already have a safe place to receive packages, over half (52%) would increase their annual online spend if they had such a place. Over a third (37%) said their spending would increase by at least $100.

ShopRunner's PickupPoints program allows online shoppers to pick up their purchases from approximately 100 Philadelphia locations at 7-Eleven stores, Toys'R'Us and Olly Shoes.

Amazon isn't missing an opportunity to keep customers happy with their delivery options. The online retailer already has lockers at 7-Eleven stores and RadioShack, and has announced they will also be available at Staples outlets.

The market is becoming crowded and the race is on to team up with big partners, such as Walmart. In Canada, BufferBox has caught the attention of online retailers and Europe has Kiala, a pick-up service that was recently purchased by UPS.

Tags: delivery process, ecommerce, mcommerce, online shopping, pick-up service

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